Brenden Dillon met with reporters for the first time Thursday after skating with his new Capitals teammates for the first time. Dillon will make his Caps debut tonight against the Montreal Canadiens and partner up with John Carlson on the first pairing.
During his press conference, Dillon spoke to the press for nearly 10 minutes, including a guy we’d happily welcome onto our blog, aspiring journalist Nic Dowd.
Using a skate guard as a mic (tsk tsk always having a working recording device, kids), Dowd asked Dillon if he packed any underwear.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) February 20, 2020
“Obviously, coming from San Jose, being a warmer city, DC is obviously a little colder,” Dowd said. “Did you bring your thermal underwear?”
“Yeah, I wore shorts for my walk last night to dinner and I know I might have to put on some pants today,” Dillon said after tapping Dowd’s “mic” to make sure it was on. “For tonight, I will be sure to wear a suit and maybe an overcoat.”
“Yeah, we require suits here in DC,” Dowd said.
This man deserves a Pulitzer.
Here’s another look at the interaction.
Dowder asking the tough questions.
…and nice mic 😂 pic.twitter.com/mazm6UIs1J
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 20, 2020
The video and transcription of Dillon’s full interview is below.
So they are throwing you right in there, right into the top pair. What was it like out there with John Carlson?
Brenden Dillon: “It was great. I am really am just excited about tonight to go play hockey. The rest of the stuff is done with here. Will grab a bite to eat, walk around the area, see a little bit, and it will be great.”
You’ve been traded before – this is the first time at the deadline. How did those two experiences compare?
Brenden Dillon: “Well, I think coming here, you are coming to a team that is doing very well. I just started meeting the guys this morning. It really feels like a tight-knit family in here and there is a reason that they have had so much success, not just this year but in years past. I just trying to be a big piece to the puzzle coming in and do what I can.”
How relieved were you that this deal happened sooner rather than later so you didn’t have to sit there all week.
Brenden Dillon: “It was definitely nice just from the mental side of things to get that done with. I am sure you guys read the paper as much as we are or social media, these types of things with the situation San Jose was in. We weren’t winning hockey games, we weren’t really in the hunt of things. To be able to come here and have some big-time meaningful hockey games coming up, to be right in the thick of the race – it’s fun.”
I know you just got here but how do you think your style of play will fit in with these guys?
Brenden Dillon: “Hopefully, I can fit right in. For me, I just love to play – the skating, be physical, move the pucks. I have been very fortunate with the defenseman and players I have had in the past – playing with Erik Karlsson and Burnzie, these type of high-end guys also play that physical high end shut down role as well. However they need to piece me in, I play both sides – left side and right side. Whatever situation I just was thrown into I will be really excited.”
You have been playing against this team for years, twice a year, and now you are here. Does the perception of what you originally perceived of this team, how does it match up to what you have seen so far just from one skate?
Brenden Dillon: “You do your video, you do your homework during the season. Teams and coaching staff are so well prepared for stuff so I think when you come in you obviously know the Ovechkins and the Backstroms and those guys and once you get to see the rest of them. They are a talented group and there is a reason why they are as good as they are. They practice hard, too. It was just a morning skate, but it was really high tempo and crispy and it was awesome. I am excited to be here. ”
How much do you look forward to sharing the physical aspect of the game with your new teammates and are you looking forward to skating with Tom Wilson?
Brenden Dillon: “It’s nice not having to take those bumps. It’s nice to have those guys on your team. I love to play a physical brand for my style of game. I pride myself on being hard to play against, but at the same time, I think that I really worked on other parts of my game to be able to keep up with the fast teams or the big, strong, physical playoff teams. I think in that retrospect, being prepared and being ready to rock n roll. I am going to be throwing my weight around for sure but again just ready to rock n roll tonight.”
System wise, when they showed you the video of 5-on-5 and PK, how did that go? How quickly did you absorb that?
Brenden Dillon: “We will be able to figure it out. Every team has their little tweaks here and there but for the most part you just want to get out there and play. Make your reads. I think is you’re playing with the defenseman we have here, everyone is talking, everyone is able to be on the same page and I am ready and feel comfortable with how welcoming the guys have been.”
Is it hard to mentally flip the switch from going to a team like San Jose that was struggling to now immediately stepping in and playing meaningful, important games?
Brenden Dillon: “No matter where we were in the standings, every game was meaningful to me personally, and I think a lot of the guys felt that way. But, again, you ramp it up a level here when you have that 20/25 games left in the season. You’re playing for first place and the next couple teams are all divisional ones and you’re going to have a little bit of extracurricular stuff that you formed for the first 60 some games of the year. Every team whether they are fighting to get into the playoffs, fighting for home ice, or fighting for their jobs for next year, it ’s going to be tough games. From doing our homework here this morning, they take every team very seriously and it’s going to be good.”
This is looking ahead but, your playoff experience, a 2016 Cup run, do you feel your game translates well come spring time?
Brenden Dillon: “I have been fortunate enough to play a couple games now and see successful hockey and winning hockey, and being in San Jose the kind of role that Joe Thornton, and Patty Marleau, and Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, these guys made the culture there of winning hockey and understanding that you have to play hard every single night it doesn’t matter what time of the year. But playoff time, I have gotten used to that every time. I think at the end of the day for me the playoffs are the fun time. That is why you play 82 games to get in there. I think for myself that is what my style of game is and I am ready to get there.”
When you talked to Todd Reirden on the phone a couple days ago on the day you were traded, he said you brought up that many years ago he coached you in a rookie camp. So you remembered that way back then?
Brenden Dillon: “It’s a small world the way the hockey world works. It was 2009. It was my draft year. I actually wasn’t drafted by I was invited as a free agent to go to Pittsburgh rookie camp and he was the head coach there. He ran a tight shift and was very detailed. A lot of the same things that he does here, 11-12 years later. Again, it was funny. He talked about the situation. I didn’t end up signing with Pittsburgh or anything like that but a lot of the same things he instilled, the work habits and those types of things, I can see already in my first day of being here that is what has gotten him to this level, too.”
You were wearing shorts last night??
Brenden Dillon: “Shorts and sandals! I had my California backpack with me. It wasn’t too bad. I just walked around the area here. Definitely not in San Jose, but at the same time, it was great weather in my opinion. I am a Canadian boy so it’s not too bad at all. ”
Headline photo courtesy of the @Capitals
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